Canberra dentist Dr Naren Chellappah always feels thrilled to see Qantas' flying kangaroo when he is overseas in the same way he feels a sense of peace when he first spots Telstra Tower as he driving back home into the national capital.
"It is a sense of oneness my wife and I feel with everyone in this city, this country, our home," Dr Chellappah told a crowd at the University of Canberra on Thursday.
Dr Chellappah was speaking at the dedication of the striking new sculpture ONE at UC, the work he has gifted to the university for an undisclosed sum.
The stainless steel work, weighing just under a tonne, was created by Perth artist Geoffrey Drake-Brockman, a former Canberran who went to school in the inner-south, including the then Narrabundah High School.
Dr Chellappah said he wanted to donate a work to Canberra that reflected his love for the city as well as the values he held dear, such as "peace", "love", "non-violence", "trust", "right conduct": - all words included on the sculpture on Aboriginal motifs, to reflect the history of his adopted home.
Born and raised in Sri Lanka, and following stints in England and Singapore, Dr Chellappah moved with his family to Canberra in 1990. He said it had been a place of security, hope and inclusiveness for he and his wife Nandi and their children Nisha, Nithya and Nihilesh and now grandchildren.
Dr Chellappah said he hoped the sculpture would provide a place of contemplation on the Bruce campus, between buildings 5 and 8, and that there was less thought about "I" and more about "us".
"The oneness of everything and everyone," he said.
The university was approached in 2015 by Dr Chellappah about the possibility of gifting a public sculpture.
A competition was launched, with eight artists who were known for their contemporary installations approached to participate. A panel of academic and professional staff chose the winning design, by artist Geoffrey Drake-Brockman, whose design "best encompassed the values held by Dr Chellappah of truth, respect, love and peace".
Mr Drake-Brockman, whose mother Anne was a company director and father Paris was a civil engineer in Canberra, said the sculpture was made in his Perth studio
It was created by a combination of "high-tech computer technology" including laser cutting and "old-school blacksmithing techniques".
He said the shape was to suggest a dynamic sensation, of the possibility of change and evolution. The mirrors on the sculpture reflected the viewer back to themselves, so that the staff and students of UC were part of the work.
Mr Drake-Brockman said among the words Dr Chellappah wanted on the sculpture were "right conduct" and the mirrors reinforced that sense of accountability, for always trying to do the best for the broader community.
"We're all responsible for what we do, we're part of the system, we're in it, it's not passing us by," he said.
The inside of the sculpture was painted oxide-red.
"If you opened me up, you'd see a similar colour," Mr Drake-Brockman said, saying it was the colour of people, as well as the Australian land.
Mr Drake-Brockman, whose uncle Tom Drake-Brockman was a senator for Western Australia, has had other works displayed in Canberra. His work Chromeskin was highly commended in the 2001 National Sculpture Prize at the National Gallery of Australia. Another work, Floribots, robotic flowers, won the people's choice award in the same prize in 2005.
Dr Chellappah, meanwhile, is known for his services to the international community as a volunteer dental surgeon. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2011 for his volunteer work overseas.
One of his daughters, Dr Nithya Chellappah, works with him in his Weston Creek practice.
He told the crowd at UC that he was grateful to see all his children flourish growing up in Canberra and that only reinforced his desire to give back to his community.
Dr Chellappah wanted the sculpture placed at UC where "impressionable minds" might absorb some of the values that had held him in good stead.
UC vice-chancellor and president Professor Deep Saini said the university and wider Canberra community were grateful to Dr Chellappah for his generous gift.
"ONE is intended to speak to the values for living: truth, right conduct, love, peace and non-violence." Professor Saini said.
"This is a direct association with the university's vision of building a safe and respectful campus community."
UC's executive director of the faculty of arts and design, Professor Jason Bambridge, said he hoped ONE would be a big enough force to encourage busy students and staff to stop and reflect on "something larger than ourselves".
He said the sculpture had transformed the space between buildings 5 and 8 into a "place suddenly rich in meaning".